Kameryn's Last VISTA Reflection

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Release Date: 
Friday, April 26, 2019

Kameryn, one of our DC VISTAs, completed her year of service yesterday. We're grateful for the heart and hard work she's put into being the Data Systems Coordinator. Kameryn will be continuing public service and joining the Peace Corps! We already miss her. Below is her final reflection on her year of VISTA service.

"A year ago today I swore in as an AmeriCorps VISTA. As I reflect on my year, I am filled with gratitude to have served with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and witness the passion of the communities I have found here. I remember applying for the position and being uncertain of where a year of service building capacity for public defender services would take me. The idea of working to build a national service project felt daunting and I wasn't sure how the project would turn out. My hope was that my decision to serve would bring me closer to understanding how I could make a difference.

Before I began my service I was unsure of my career path, but I now have a clearer grasp of the ways I can make an impact. During my time here, I’ve been able to enter spaces with people who not only recognize and understand systems of injustice, but are invested in changing that reality. Some of my favorite learning opportunities were sitting in on NLADA team meetings and events hosted by The Marshall Project where I saw diverse groups of people in a variety of roles working to uplift marginalized communities and ensure equal protection under law. This experience has been humbling and full of spaces that forced me to be uncomfortable and ones that made me sit back and listen. Seeing and learning about the work being done throughout the NLADA community has been eye opening for me in a way that will have a lasting impact on my views about policy and justice.

With 364 days behind me I can now say that my AmeriCorps experience has been as life changing as I expected, but the most important gift afforded by my year of service has been exposure. It has been inspiring to serve with an organization like NLADA and to have been guided through my service by such a supportive group of people who had a vested interest in my growth. I gained an array of professional skills that will prove invaluable and relevant to any job or project that I encounter. I have truly learned to take initiative and get things done, and I am certain that this experience will guide my efforts to help develop more equitable systems."